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Every time I open Daedalus, a multiple gigabyte backup is triggered to Time Machine at the next backup time. This is likely to fill up a Time Machine backup drive fairly quickly.

Thus I'm wondering what is a good choice of directories to exclude (from within the Daedalus state dir, found at ~/Library/Application Support/Daedalus Mainnet), to exclude transient files from backup, which don't need to be backed up. (Excluding directories from backup is done via System Preferences/Time Machine/Options, for those who don't know.)

It would seem unnecessary to backup the blockchain itself(!) (I think we can rely on that being done elsewhere... :), but, it may not be ideal to exclude the entire data dir, because, some people may be using software wallets, in which case including those in a default backup, should a full system restore ever be needed, might be sensible.

For clarification, this question isn't about recovery seed backups, which are essential and should already be being done in all cases. The question here is about how to achieve an effective time machine backup ("time machine" is apple's rsync style backup, for those from the linux world, not familiar with mac).

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You're right. You can exclude just the big chain subdirectory.

For mac users unfamiliar with the procedure: open System Preferences, click Spotlight, Privacy tab, +, browse to and select the ~/Library/Application Support/Daedalus Mainnet/chain directory, click Choose.

This will exclude just the downloaded blockchain data from Spotlight search and Time Machine backups. (If you run other versions of Daedalus, like Daedalus Flight, exclude their chain directory too.) This will improve your system's performance and reduce space usage on your backup drive. If you have to restore from such a backup, Daedalus will re-download that chain data, which takes a loong time, but is automatic.

Related: it might be a good idea to make sure all your Time Machine backups are encrypted (requiring a password to restore from), to reduce the risk of an unauthorized person restoring your wallets. If you can't do that, then excluding all of the Daedalus directory from backups, and relying only on your wallet recovery phrases to restore wallets, might indeed be best. In this case Daedalus settings, wallet names, spending passwords would not be backed up, but you can recreate those manually. (Unless you have a lot of wallet names, in which case it might be worth writing those down somewhere. You might be tempted to write down their balances as well; think twice, that information is more sensitive.)

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The only thing required to restore wallets is the recovery phrase.

Therefore it is safe and efficient to exclude all Daedalus directories from time-machine if you have your recovery phrase stored safely elsewhere.

It also means that you can be less concerned with any changes to the disk structure and usage that may cause your time-machine backups to experience similar problems in future.

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  • The OP asks about time machine backups, not recovery seed backups (which it is assumed are already being done). The question is how to achieve an effective time machine backup. Or perhaps the argument here is that it is safest not to create a backup of wallets at all? (= of daedalus at all). And safest to rely only on the seed? If so, more articulation of this position would help.
    – mwal
    Apr 30 at 11:11

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